Platforms and Learning Opportunities

Ethical Culture is a humanist religious and educational movement inspired by the ideal that creating a more humane society is our prime undertaking. The task of the Education committee is to lay the groundwork for living according to that ideal.

Sunday Platforms

We offer Sunday morning platform programs on diverse topics and celebrating annual traditions and the cycles of nature. The heart of our topic platforms is a talk in which our Leader, Hugh Taft-Morales, or guest speakers discuss their work and its relation to our shared community ethical concerns.

Hugh Taft-Morales has spoken on topics from morals to manners, racial justice to environmental justice, art to philosophy. Some of our guest speakers include ex-policewoman Maria Sliwa describes her worldwide efforts against modern-day slavery; former Mayor Michael Nutter answers questions after his talk on ethics in city government; and philosopher Gary Francione defends his views on animal rights.

These talks contribute to our understanding of the surrounding culture, addressing such topics as social justice, geopolitical events, as well as more personal issues such as how we ‘position’ ourselves in an often unethical, unjust world. They inspire us to think about how to work for change. There’s also a wonderful musical presentation, and some singing, and an opportunity for a member to stand and talk about his/her ethical journey, or share personal concerns. Afterward there’s the Coffee Hour, where we socialize, and then a period of time devoted to a discussing points raised by the speaker. These are especially enlightening, because they round off points which may have not been covered fully during the platform address.

Our celebrations of annual traditions and the cycles of nature during the course of the year may include a Fall Equinox Celebration, a Humanist Thanksgiving, a Winter Solstice Celebration, Memorial Sunday, and a Spring Equinox Celebration.

Learning opportunities

The other way we do it is through learning opportunities. Our Leader, Hugh Taft-Morales, offers excellent classes and discussion groups, listed separately. Our members also facilitate such opportunities. Please see our monthly calendar to keep abreast.